Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Our God is faithful

2 Timothy 2:11-13 contains a statement, or rather a poem, that has puzzled me and encouraged me for years.

"Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,
we will also live with him;

if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;

if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself."

Even when I am faithless, God remains faithful for he cannot disown himself. Our God is unchangeable, immutable. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This is the theme of what I have begun learning in the last few weeks of October. The month of October was full of stress, difficulty, discouragement, and  God's faithfulness. I have struggled mightily with my faith that God will do great things for his children in the last month. There are so many situations among close friends and family where I watch and wonder where God is in the midst of these heartaches. 
I have also struggled with how slowly the fund raising process has been. I know there are important steps to take in these initial stages: 
  • We have been developing a team of prayer warriors to cover our partnership development in prayer.
  • We have been creating materials to help share our ministry with others: brochures, portfolios, prayer cards, etc.
  • We have been reading and reviewing our instruction manual to receive guidance about the plans we are making for presentations.
  • We have studied many passages from the Bible to learn about the biblical precedent of asking for financial support from other people.
I have also felt the changes that God is making in my own perspective and heart to prepare me for pursuing this life of dependence. It has been a challenge to learn how truly dependent we are for everything we possess. Living with family is a constant reminder of how little of our surrounding belongs to David and I.   I have also been painfully conscious of the fact that David's last paycheck will arrive December 31st. We have been blessed to receive monthly support from financial partners throughout our entire marriage. However, we have always needed to supplement our monthly support with income from other employers. God was faithful to allow Cadence International the funds to offer David full-time income which met the need created when David and I ended our other part-time employment. However, we are reaching the point where even that form of employment will end. In January, we will fully devote our time to partnership development. Our only source of income will be monthly gifts donated to MMS Aviation. Honestly, that is a scary thought to me despite the fact that we have received pledges equal to 3% of our total support goal. Only 97% to go! 
God has been faithful to remind me through his Word of this truth: I am utterly dependent for all my needs on HIM, not on the people whose gifts I receive. He is the one leading David and I to take this step of faith. He is the one leading these friends to also step out in faith and give sacrificially in support of our ministry needs.
God has been faithful to provide these needs:
  1. Four families have pledged to give monthly donations for our support.
  2. Other family and friends have committed to pray faithfully for our ministry
  3. Some have contributed financially toward our one-time expenses: moving costs, tools, and training fees.
  4. Some of our supporters are recommending our ministry to their friends
  5. Our family is committed to providing housing for David and I long-term (quite the financial commitment)
  6. Special gifts have helped offset costs for printing and other supplies for our presentation materials
  7. One gift provided funds to seek much needed chiropractic care to resolve my recurring back and shoulder pain as well as frequent headaches
  8. Our small group has donated gifts-in-kind to provide recent pictures for our prayer cards, hair styling, and binding our portfolios
  9. God has provided sufficient income for this season where we have many medical costs to ascertain the cause of several issues. Most of the test results have returned normal. Praise God for protecting me from more serious medical conditions. My Celiac's Disease is being managed and my symptoms may resolve with further diet changes alone.
  10. We still have no debt to hinder our ministry and our ability to follow God's direction.
  11. On Sunday mornings, we are participating in a small group study about marriage with one other couple from our church. We also receive fellowship and encouragement through a small group study on the gospel and other Bible studies during the week.
In all these things, I will give thanks! Will you join me in thanking God for his unchanging faithfulness?